I have been wearing Wilson Equestrian riding gear for the last year and a half. From the moment I put on my first pair of their breeches, I was hooked. Early in 2016 I applied to become and brand ambassador for Wilson Equestrian and was successful. I caught up with Talina Wilson to find out about how she developed Wilson Equestrian, as well as learn more about her horses.
Wilson Equestrian officially began trading in March 2014. The idea to start Wilson Equestrian about from Talina’s frustration with the distinct lack of quality affordable equestrian clothing on the market. She says, ‘I was getting frustrated with paying $300 for a Pair of Breeches!! And that unless they were around that amount the fit wasn’t quite right or the quality was not great. I thought to myself I can do better than this for cheaper surely!’
In three years, Talina’s business has grown phenomenally. Talina grew the business from initially having having polo’s screen printed to designing unique breeches, show shirts and show jackets and importing tack. While the aim remains to create quality products that fitted just as well as the more high end brands, Talina is moving away from tack to focus on growing the equestrian fashion component of the business. I knew that not everyone that rides horses has heaps of money, but I do know that everyone likes to look good and most importantly feel comfortable.
When I asked if Talina has a favorite product she told me, “My favourite product constantly changes!! At the moment for sure it is our latest Mid Rise Breeches
. They sit just at my belly button and ‘tuck in’ my tummy after having two babies in two years
!” The inspiration for her products come from need, “I generally know when its time to start designing a new product when I start shopping for something new. I figure if I am looking for something from someone else its because ours aren’t good enough! So it’s back to the drawing board!!”
The great balancing act – Managing a business, Motherhood and Horses
One thing that I think most equestrians can relate to is the difficulty of balancing horses, life and of course the thing which we need to do to finance our equine addition, aka work. I was curious to find out how Talina managed this, her response, “Poorly!! I think this is one of the things I have for sure found the hardest to do! My poor husband has told me on several occasions ‘get off your phone Talina’ I’m sure he thinks i’m playing games or messing around on Facebook. But in reality I am working, answering emails and messages from customers.”
On Motherhood Talina says, “I am very lucky that my boys are in DayCare two days a week. Monday and Friday. They are my two days to cram in as much work, horse activities and Mum time as possible. We had an AuPair recently for 8 weeks and our Profits increased to three times the amount they were in a regular two month period. So we have organised another to start in September. I have been very lucky to be able to find a young girl from Finland who was on the Finnish Show Jumping Team so I am confident that she will be able to help me with my kids, my horses and my riding!”
Interestingly Talina was a Professional surfer prior to starting riding. “I started Surfing when I was 11 years old. We lived on the Sunshine Coast and it was just the thing to do. I started competing when I was 13 and I guess like most things in sport you move up the ladder. By the time I was 16 I was Surfing in World Qualifying Series Events. I was ranked 17th on the Tour at one stage. But it is any expensive thing to do chasing waves around the world and unfortunately just not financially viable so I stopped competing.” It was at this point that Talina moved from teh Sunshien Coast to the Gold Coast and was given her first horse.
The Horses Behind Wilson Equestrian
I asked Talina to tell me about her three horses:
“Ruby is a 17yr TB. She was my Eventer and she has the best nature of any horse ever! She is retired now and only gets pulled out of the paddock for the occasional trail ride.
RB is my 8 year old Warmblood by Ferrero Rocher. To say he has been a learning curve would be correct! I thought while I was Pregnant with my first baby Austin in 2015 it would be the best idea ever to buy a young horse and have it in training with a Professional in the hopes that by the time I had Austin and was back riding he would be ready to go and I could jump on and just go win everything! hahaha Well my hormones must have been completely out of whack!! He is such a talented horse! We have been doing ALOT of ground work training with him, he has the ability to jump 1.40m over a single barrel with cones on top out of a Jump. However his personality and temperament are not the easiest! When RB says No. Its a NO… It has been a learning curve trying to learn what motivates him and what works to get him to do what you want!
He has been living with me at home now for 8 months and I am finally starting to see the results pay off. He is becoming more willing and we are forming a good bond and team. I’m excited for the future, but no doubt there will still be some big mountains to climb. He seems to be all about the giant highs and low lows.
And my third!! And possibly the most exciting for the future! Is my baby girl… Talulah Talulah’s Daddy is Tolegro…. Tolegro’s Daddy is Totilas. The blood line also has horses such as Valegro and Krack C. I bought this horse when my second baby Ryder was about 2 weeks old… Most women have food cravings while their Hormones run high, I have a penchant for expensive horses! haha
Talulah’s temperament is just incredible. At just 10 months old just can play all 7 of the Parelli games, she leads, ties up, allows me to clip her legs and ears and enjoys coming along for trail rides as well as having a big hoon around the paddock. She is brave and I am super excited for her future as an eventer or dressage star.”
Talina’s advice to other entrepreneurs
“Plan, Plan, Plan… And, think big!! I wish I knew the things I know now when I first started. I feel like Wilson Equestrian could be even better than what it is! Ask lots of questions from other Business Owners in a similar line you are wanting to do. I love seeing people wearing the products that I have produced. There is nothing better than being your own boss. But if you don’t have the commitment and drive then don’t bother. It is a lot of hard work, but the outcome is incredible!”